This year’s presidential candidates are fighting like cats and dogs. Fortunately, there’s precedent for that.
“If you want a friend in Washington, get a dog.”
That line allegedly comes from Harry S. Truman, and while its presidential origin is questionable, the underlying sentiment is clear: Washington—and politics in general—can be a tough place for human beings. Perhaps that’s why Barisk, an 18-month-old Scottish Fold cat, was able to beat his Homo sapiens competitors by a huge margin in a recent online poll for the upcoming mayoral elections in the Siberian city of Barnaul, home to around 700,000 people.
He’s not alone.
Throughout history there have been nonhumans who managed to claw their way into elections—even winning a few, against all odds. From cats and dogs to more exotic animals, electoral history is peppered with instances of interspecies candidates: some serious, some satirical, and each a unique entry in the larger enterprise we call “democracy.”
These are a few of our favorites.